Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, April T., 1972, No. 1682, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Sylvester Carthon.
William Sayer, Assistant Defender, with him John W. Packel, Assistant Defender, and Vincent J. Ziccardi, Defender, for appellant.
Maxine J. Stotland, Assistant District Attorney, with her David Richman, Assistant District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, and Spaeth, JJ. (Spaulding, J., absent.) Opinion by Cercone, J., In Support of Reversal. Hoffman and Spaeth, JJ., join in this opinion in support of reversal.
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The six judges who heard this appeal being equally divided, the judgment of sentence is affirmed.
Judgment of sentence affirmed.
Opinion by Cercone, J., In Support of Reversal:
Appellant Sylvester Carthon was convicted of arson and of firing personal property after a non-jury trial in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County. Post trial motions were denied and appellant was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of six months to three years on the arson charge and sentence was suspended on the charge of firing personal property. This appeal followed.
The evidence at trial established that Mrs. Linda Williams, the complainant, left her 15th floor apartment at approximately 11:00 p.m. on March 20, 1972, and when she returned about 15 minutes later, her "boyfriend" the appellant, was in her living room.*fn1 On a table was a gasoline can which appellant explained, when asked by Mrs. Williams, was gas for a friend's car. She then sat down and after they had talked*fn2 for about 15 minutes, Mrs. Williams dozed off. Shortly thereafter, when she awoke, Mrs. Williams discovered the gas can lying on the floor along with gasoline covering a large
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circle-like area which she then directed ...